News and Notices

Engaging through adversity - Strategic narrative

"People can deal with anything they know about, it’s uncertainty that cripples them”

Sally Hopson, MBE – Pets At Home

The first principle of engaging through organisational change is having a strong strategic narrative. Good, visible leadership and the ability to describe where the organisation is going next are essential through the change process. This film provides key insights from business leaders about managing through change and in particular the importance of a clear strategic narrative in times of adversity.

Top tips:

  • Be open and honest about the change and explain why it’s happening. Be clear about the boundaries – if there’s room for people to influence, explain where.
  • Ensure there is good, consistent leadership right from the top, working in close partnership with the HR function. HR can support senior leaders in the business to drive change.
  • Plan ahead – employees want to help, so enable them to understand the change in advance, so they can react positively and provide input.
  • You can never do enough communication – especially if it’s direct and personal from the senior leadership.
  • Reduce the uncertainty – people can handle most things, as long as they know about it.

Other related useful tools and links:

Hints & Tips: Creating and Communicating your Strategic Narrative
20 practical hints and tips on how to create and communicate your strategic narrative.

Research: Strategy Re-told
Narrative theory is explored and its use in application, compared and contrasted with that of traditional strategic management theory.

Hints & Tips: Developing a Strategic Narrative
This article provides a general breakdown on how companies can develop their strategic narrative including what should be included and its value.

Case Study: Strategic Narrative at Computacentre
HR Director of an IT Infrastructure services company comments on the benefits to senior leadership teams of a shared, simple, clear and compelling strategic narrative in a short article.